A Research Study On The Frisian Language

913 WordsNov 4, 20154 Pages
For my research, I conducted an analysis of the Frisian language. Frisian is a part of the Proto-Indo-European language family, specifically the Germanic branch in the Western Germanic tradition. Frisian developed in the Western Germanic family and then it grew and changed from Old Frisian into Modern Frisian. Frisian, unlike English, has no intervening steps between Old Frisian and Modern Frisian: e.g. English developed from Old English, to Middle English, to Modern English. According to classical sources, the Frisians traditionally inhabited the area between the Rhine or Scheldt in the West and the Ems or Weser in the East. The province of Fryslân (Dutch/English: Friesland) is one of the twelve provinces of the Royal Kingdom of the…show more content…
West Frisian is the largest and most viable of the Frisian speech communities. The most striking fact about West Frisian, as opposed to East and North Frisian, is its relative uniformity—dialectally speaking (Markey: 2011). It is in the realm of phonology that West Frisian evinces the greatest evolution from that of Old Frisian. The morphology, while further simplified in directions foreshadowed even in Classical Old Frisian, is not radically changed. In the literature it is quite generally assumed that Old Frisian is an SOV language, i.e. a language with a subject (S) – complement (O) – verb (V) order in simplex sentence structure. In this observational statement, V refers to non-finite verbs essentially, since it is assumed that these forms are indicative of the basic position of verbs (Studies in West Frisian Grammar: 2010). According to the same book, it was noted that a number of cases of grammatical influence of Dutch on Frisian were discussed, especially regarding a morphological example of this influence which is a change in the system of Frisian diminutive formation. The syntax of the Frisian verbal complex differs in several ways from the Dutch one. According to Besten and Edmondsen’s paper from 1983, Frisian shares an interesting property with other West Germanic languages in that main verbs are accompanied by ‘auxiliary’ verbs and/or modals occur in one cluster in sentence final

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